KINGSTON, Jamaica – FOLLOWING the waiving of licensing and registration fees by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), grooms were left with the task of paying for their insurance.
The paying of the insurance fee is a mandatory procedure required for grooming horses in Jamaica.
When asked in an interview with this publication, president of the Grooms’ Association of Jamaica, Fabian White indicated that most of his members should be insured and ready to work when racing resumes on Saturday next.
The JRC had waived licensing and registration fees for all new and renewing applicants of the occupational groups to help cushion the financial impact of COVID-19. Still, individual members must pay the insurance portion.
Each groom’s fee totals approximately $18,600 each year, with licensing and registration fees being $2,000. Each groom, therefore, has to pay approximately $16,600 for insurance. There are over 500 grooms at Caymanas Park.
White said while the waiver from the commission is well appreciated, grooms do not earn much and are struggling to pay the insurance fee.
“We are struggling with the insurance part, to be honest.
“I suggested that the commission give us a month to sort out this thing as, during this COVID-19, every single groom used out their money.
“We are finding it hard, but we are also working hard to reach our goal. I am talking with the people from ISP Finance Services and, hopefully, that company will be lending us some money, and I think we will get there.
“I have received sponsorship to pay the insurance fee for some of the grooms already, and by the time racing resumes we should be ready,” White said.
White said his association was happy to have racing return so that grooms and other professionals can earn.
“We are overwhelmed and we are delighted and ready to go. Grooms have been hit hard by the shutdown of horse racing as we struggled financially, but with the return of racing we can now breathe some air as things will get better,” he said.